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The Not-So-Common Types of Brain Tumors

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The National Cancer Institute estimated that in 2012, about 22,910 new brain tumor cases will be diagnosed. A brain tumor is an abnormal growth of cells that can be cancerous or benign.

The abnormal cells may start in the brain (these tumors are called primary brain tumors) or they may start elsewhere in the body and travel up to the brain (these tumors are called secondary or metastatic brain tumors).

The National Brain Tumor Society noted that more than 120 types of brain tumors exist. ]]>Some types of brain tumors are more common than others]]>.

For example, gliomas make up 45 percent of all brain tumors that start from the brain cells, according to the BC Cancer Agency. There are some types of brain tumors you may have not heard about before, as they are not so common.

Olfactory Neuroblastoma

Olfactory neuroblastoma, also called esthesioneuroblastoma, is a very rare type of brain tumor. This type of tumor forms in the patient’s nose. Johns Hopkins Medicine stated that the origin of this tumor is believed to be at the olfactory nerve.

Symptoms include nosebleed, nasal discharge and obstruction, excessive tearing from the eyes, and changes in the sense of smell. Treatments for an olfactory neuroblastoma include surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.


Gangliogliomas are rare brain tumors that start from a single cell in the brain that divides — they account for about 1 percent of all brain tumors, according to the Office of Rare Diseases Research. The majority of ganglioglioma cases are benign, but 10 percent of tumors are malignant, added the Office of Rare Diseases Research.

Patients with this type of brain tumor may undergo surgery as the primary treatment. In cases in which the full tumor is not surgically removed, the patients may also have chemotherapy or radiation.

Brain Stem Gliomas

Brain stem gliomas are a rare type of brain tumor in adults, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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